At 47-47, the Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the biggest surprise teams in baseball this season. They traded Paul Goldschmidt and lost Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock to free agency over the winter, yet the D-Backs come into Monday only 1 1/2 games behind the second National League wild-card spot.
Arizona's surprise contention will make for an interesting trade deadline. On one hand, the team could justify adding pieces and making a run at a postseason spot. On the other hand, staying the course and adding young talent would be a viable strategy. Here's what GM Mike Hazen told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic over the weekend:
"We're going to have to make a complicated decision," Hazen said. "It just doesn't appear that it's going to be an easily defined decision."
"I still think we have challenges in front of us long-term that we need to address," Hazen said. "There's a lot of guys that have one-plus years of control. I think we need to figure out what the roster is going to look like after that point."
Among those players with one-plus year of control is left-hander Robbie Ray, who's struck out 145 batters in 111 innings this year, and will turn only 28 in October. Ray is making $6.05 million this season and will make $10 million or so through arbitration in 2020 before qualifying for free agency.